‘Miss Mitchell’ B-25 historic plane visits Spearfish

A piece of flying history visited Spearfish this weekend. The Minnesota Wing of the Commemorative Air Force (CAF MN Wing) brought "Miss Mitchell," a B-25J World War II-era bomber to the Northern Hills.

The CAF MN Wing was founded to acquire, restore and preserve in flying condition a complete collection of combat aircraft for the purpose of education and enjoyment of present and future generations. The group uses the aircraft as a flying history lesson, bringing the tales of aeronautic triumphs to the people.

"Airplanes are a fantastic way to teach people about what happened, how it was done and the technology of what they had back then compared to what we have now. You know, this airplane was built with slide rulers and pencils." – Troy Dugstad, commemorative Air Force B-25J mechanic. 

Photo courtesy of Commemorative Air Force Minnesota Wing, "Miss Mitchell" flying high. 

Miss Mitchell herself served in the 310th Bomb Group, 57th Bomb Wing of the 12th Air Force in North Africa and Italy, completing over 130 missions. One of only 16 medium range bombers produced in 1942, "Miss Mitchell" launched from the deck of an aircraft carrier in the Pacific Ocean to fulfill the mission of bombing the Japanese mainland an initiative led by Lt. Col. James "Jimmy" Doolittle, whose strategies turned the tables in America’s favor within the region.

Miss Mitchell’s career includes an extremely rare accomplishment of no crew fatalities during all of its missions. 

The plane was donated to the CAF MN Wing in 1980. After 12 years of restoration, Miss Mitchell saw her first flight on April 18, 1992 – fifty years to the day of her maiden bombing flight in 1944.